Finding the occasional water bug in your home is not that uncommon, but when these insects begin to nest in the walls of your house, you may have a problem. They can survive for long periods of time with little food and water, and you may have a hard time getting rid of cockroaches or water bugs once they build a nest in your house. Educate yourself and take precautionary steps against an infestation.
What Are Water Bugs?
"Water bug" is often used as another name for the common cockroach. But true water bugs are different, typically living in water and rarely entering homes. They use their legs as paddles to move through the water.
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Cockroaches get the nickname of water bug because they tend to show up near water sources and can go for a month with no food as long as they can get water. American cockroaches can grow as large as 1.5 inches in length and are typically dark brown or black, and they have hard, chitinous bodies with six legs and long antennae. Not only are these insects found under appliances and in cracks and crevices, but they also are very good climbers and can be found on top of cupboards and in ventilation ducts.
Water Bug Nests
These insects are drawn to cool, dark places to build their nests. Most homes provide an abundance of locations that meet these needs. They often live and build nests inside interior walls, heating ducts, baseboards, cupboards, and other dark, dusty areas. Cockroaches also like damp areas, making kitchens and bathrooms a popular location.
Water bugs can travel inside walls, chewing their way through them if necessary, to build nests. Because water bugs can travel through plenty of avenues within the walls of your home, they are not seen frequently during the day. They stay in their nests during the day, leaving at night in search of food and water.
Eradicate Water Bug Nests
Water bugs are extremely hardy insects, and the skill and supplies of a professional exterminator generally are required to completely rid your house of an infestation. Commercial insecticides, sprays, and dusts from the grocery store may be effective in killing a few insects but, chances are, many more are lurking inside the walls of your home where you cannot reach them. Bait traps may help to eradicate water bug nests because these traps typically utilize a slow-acting insecticide that will kill an entire colony once it's carried back to the nest.
Prevent Water Bug Nests
Eliminate a potential food supply to prevent water bugs from building nests. Water bugs feed on any food source available, so keep all food in tightly sealed containers and store them in the cupboard or pantry. Clean up spills quickly and do not allow empty boxes and containers to accumulate. Sprinkle boric acid under your cupboards and appliances to kill any water bugs that come in contact with it. Sprinkle natural substances like mint, garlic, and cucumber peels around windows, doors, and cracks where water bugs might enter your home.
Sealing cracks and gaps on the exterior of your home with caulk can also help. This blocks off an easy entry point for cockroaches. Fixing plumbing leaks can also cut down on the risk since it eliminates the extra moisture that the bugs love.